A manifesto for political change in the United States in 2020 and beyond
It is of course heartening to see the democratic process at stake in the race for the White House in 2020 among the plethora of Democratic candidates who have thus far thrown their hats into the ring. The diversity displayed in terms of religion, gender, sexual orientation and political opinion is inspiring. However, none of these candidates make the need for systemic change central to their political platforms.
While there are plenty of jokes about the hottest issues of the day, such as immigration and income inequality, lost in the blizzard of proclamations is the need to fundamentally revamp a flawed system. The US Congress presides over obscene levels of legalized and institutionalized corruption (which it refuses to correct). Too many of America’s elected officials have forgotten who sent them to Washington (and who they work for), and representation has turned into a career for too many of the country’s politicians, who are becoming even more tainted by “the system.” These politicians spend the majority of their time fundraising for re-election. On top of that, special interest groups and lobbyists run the show. America needs meaningful systemic change that really shakes up the system, not more “business” as usual. Why is this not a priority issue?
While about 45% of American voters are independents (more than Democrats or Republicans), most vote for Democratic or Republican candidates due to the lack of independent candidates or even an independent political platform. Additionally, independent parties have historically performed poorly in state and national elections, in part because independent voters do not vote for them, and too many independent candidates come from either the “Looney left” or the “radical right”. “.
What is needed is for the American public to start electing future members of Congress who are untainted by the system and committed to fixing this broken political system. The following is a manifesto to guide such change:
- Create a permanent independent political party to serve as a platform for candidates who identify as neither Democrats nor Republicans and truly represent the majority of Americans who are neither Democrats nor Republicans. By doing so, the hold of the Democratic and Republican parties can be broken and the elected candidates will be more truly representative of the American people.
- Elect only candidates who agree in advance to serve a single 6-year term. This will end political careerism and stop lobbyists and special interests in their tracks, depriving them of the opportunity to further corrupt and game the system. This would allow lawmakers to focus on what they were sent to Washington or state legislatures to do: govern, rather than spending 80% of their time fundraising for re-election while responding to lobbyists and vested interests. individuals.
- All elected officials should subscribe in advance to honesty, integrity, transparency and (most importantly) accountability for their action or inaction. If an elected representative of such a party fails to deliver what he has promised to deliver, he will have to agree in advance to be removed from office before the end of his term.
- All of these elected representatives should agree to adhere to the laws they pass. In other words, any laws they pass would also apply to them – no more health plans for themselves and their families that are different from what they pass for everyone else. This would help bring fairness, honor and dignity back to the offices they will hold and to the people they serve.
- Increase the salaries of elected leaders to reduce the risk of corruption. This has worked incredibly well in countries like Singapore, where official corruption is largely unheard of.
- Create a new organizational watchdog specifically designed to monitor corruption and influence peddling among elected leaders, give it regulatory powers, and increase penalties for corruption among elected leaders.
- Make Election Day a national holiday and require every adult to vote. This has been done with great success in other countries and would give a more representative result. This is something the current Congress could do easily and would make a significant difference in election results while reducing the influence of gerrymandering in the electoral process.
- Require every green card holder and citizen to speak English and remove Spanish (or any other language) from optional forms of communication in the public domain (such as when requesting government services). This would encourage full assimilation into American society among the nearly 15% of the American population who speak Spanish and help them to be seen and heard in the political arena as equals, rather than political pawns, as many are. now. If it were up to me, no service, in the public or private sectors, could be provided in any language other than English.
Although limited in scope, the accomplishment of what is described in this manifesto would remedy many fundamental flaws in the American political system. A big part of the challenge is that too few American citizens are willing to stand up, say enough is enough, and demand substantive change. It is no longer enough to do your civic duty and vote. We must do something to reduce political apathy, demand more of our elected leaders, and hold them accountable when they fail. If we don’t, we have no right to complain as the system spirals out of control.
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